What all is easily heard in the family at any time or day:
“What’s for breakfast today?”
“Make something special for lunch”
“If only there were some bajji’s with tea, it would go so well with the weather”
“For dinner, we will have the noon’s curry, just make some spicy side-dish to go with it.”
Food is religion in the family. And it has to be perfect, with the right amount of salt and spice. Adjusting to a badly cooked dish will be done half-grudgingly, courtesy when yours truly is in the kitchen. MIL is a culinary expert, so when the time comes to consume a tasteless sambar made by me, the sighing and rolling eye combination would be in multiples, by the audience. While I gape at the furiously working hand and mind of the MIL, the dish is ‘perfected’ on-the-go.
The folks are not overtly spiritual. No morning suprabhatam on the radio. No bhajan and aarti. No singing of shloka’s on respective God’s special days. Just the lighting of the lamp everyday, burning incense sticks and adorning the statues and photos with flowers. On festivals, elaborate spread will be cooked as the prasad. They do like visiting different temples and happily remember the Lord’s name while partaking any prasad from the neighbours. But that’s just it. So unlike at my parent’s, where in the prayer rituals are all together at a different platform.
Now what is the relation between the undying love of good food and minimal spiritual feelings in the family?
I think, the two are mutually inclusive.
Every family member meditates while eating the food. Each and every morsel is eaten with so much love and utmost concentration. Nirvana is achieved with a satisfactory burp at the end of e.a.c.h meal. When I was new to the family, I was highly irritated by the burps emerging from all sides irrespective of the genders and ages for a good ten minutes after the meal. I have lost the count of times I have mentioned here, the absolute love for biryani which the family has. Naturally on Sundays, the meditation reaches the zenith.
Meditation in my opinion is to focus all your concentration and energies at one point, and to do so for a considerable amount of time. So there, the family does meditation with the help of good food. When I shared these musings with my father, he laughed his guts out. Are you laughing too?